50 Landmark Papers every Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgeon Should Know

Review by L Flood
Middlesbrough, UK

The Preface reminds us that the literature in all medical specialities is increasing at an exponential rate with, internationally, one new paper appearing every four minutes that pass. If one is to be confident of evidence based practice (or an answer in an examination viva) then this idea of highlighting the most influential papers in a given field is invaluable. Similar texts from other publishers have applied the idea to otolaryngology in general but I think this idea works best when concentrated on super-specialist practice, as here, for thyroid and parathyroid surgeons, whatever their primary qualifications and surgical speciality. For such complex endocrine surgery, a multidisciplinary approach is essential, as is well illustrated.

Landmark papers make up 50 chapters, written by an international panel of expert authors. Each writer was set a clinical topic and then left to select a high quality, recently published and well cited article. What did impress is the consistent style to each chapter and the result is far more than simply a reprint of the chosen study. The headings to each paragraph do reflect the quality of evaluation and criticism that the authors employ. It is worth listing each heading and again to stress that this is the format throughout: Research Questions, Study Design, Sample Size, Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria, Intervention or Treatment Received, Results, Limitations, Study Impact, Relevant Additional Studies. The authors are not afraid to criticise their chosen Landmark paper and do prove very capable reviewers.

I will not then list the fifty chapter titles and topics, but will just say that they range from Vessel Sealing Devices, to Surgeon Volume (that learning curve issue) to Normohormonal Primary Hyperparathyroidism. That last title impressed upon this retired otologist just how complex can endocrine surgery prove. If the book title holds any interest for you, do skip through the table of contents and learn what should be influencing your practice, all published since 2000.

From the same publisher (who has produced some of the best known textbooks in UK Otolaryngology) this is the latest of nine “50 Landmark Papers”, applied to such fields as breast, spinal and trauma surgery. Maybe one day we will see a subtitle such as “Every Rhinologist Should Know”, but, inevitably the market is then limited. What did strike me only on completing the review was noting the price of the paperback I had received. This is great value.

Amazon Link: 50 Landmark Papers every Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgeon Should Know
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